Top Ten Tuesday: KFI (640 AM, Los Angeles CA), 8/25/80

KFI started playing Top 40 music later than most stations, beginning in the mid-’70’s and ending around 1988. Now, of course, they’re doing news and talk, but 40 years ago they were doing Top 40. Here’s what they were playing then.

# “>Song
10 Let My Love Open The Door
Pete Townshend
From Pete’s 1980 solo album Empty Glass. His manager hated the song and wanted it removed from the album, saying it didn’t sound like him, but when the song became a hit in the US, he called to apologize. It reached #9 on the Hot 100 and #5 in Canada.
9 Drivin’ My Life Away
Eddie Rabbitt
The song that made Eddie Rabbitt a crossover star, this peaked at #1 on the Country chart and #5 on the Hot 100. Eddie wrote it with David Malloy and Even Stevens, and it was featured in the soundtrack for the movie Roadie. Several of this week’s songs were from the movies of the time.
8 Magic
Olivia Newton-John
Speaking of songs from movies, this was a hit from the movie Xanadu, about which the critics were less than enthusiastic. The soundtrack was a hit, though, and “Magic” reached #1 on the Hot 100 and the Adult Contemporary chart.
7 It’s Still Rock & Roll To Me
Billy Joel
The surest sign of a song’s popularity is to have “Weird” Al Yankovic do a parody of it (“It’s Still Billy Joel To Me”). From his 1980 Glass Houses album, this spent 11 weeks in the top 10 on the Hot 100, including two weeks at #1.
6 Lookin’ For Love
Johnny Lee
Another hit song from a movie, in this case Urban Cowboy starring John Travolta and Debra Winger. Lee also released this as the title track of his 1980 album, later in the year. It reached #1 on the Hot Country Singles chart and #5 on the Hot 100, and inspired Eddie Murphy to sing it as “Ookin Pa Nub” in character as Buckwheat, back in the days when Saturday Night Live was actually funny and worth staying up late on Saturday night.
5 Emotional Rescue
Rolling Stones
Title track from their 1980 album, featuring Bobby Keys on saxophone. I think I was behind the door when this came out, bcause I barely remember it. Despite me not remembering it, it reached #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 in Canada.
4 Fame
Irene Cara
And another song from a movie, this being the theme for the movie Fame. Cara has sung on a lot of soundtrack albums and had several top 10 hits, including this, which made it to #4 on the Hot 100 and topped the Dance chart.
3 Take Your Time (Do It Right)
SOS Band
A “post-disco” song, whatever that means (maybe it means after Disco Demolition, which happened a year earlier). The single was about half the length of the album version; since I couldn’t find the single version, feel free to skip ahead halfway through this. The song reached #3 on the Hot 100 and topped the Hot Disco Singles and Hot Soul Singles chart.
2 Sailing
Christopher Cross
The song that put the yacht in Yacht Rock. From Christopher’s eponymous debut album, it reached #1 on the Hot 100 and #10 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
1 Upside Down
Diana Ross
Written by Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards and included on Ms. Ross’s 1980 album Diana, it did remarkably well, reaching #1 in the US and internationally, and earned her a Grammy nomination for Best Female R&B Performance.

And that’s Top Ten Tuesday for August 25, 2020.

14 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: KFI (640 AM, Los Angeles CA), 8/25/80

  1. I love the movie Urban Cowboy. Lots of great songs in it. I remember the Eddie Murphy skit too. Driving My Life away is a get up a dance song. Nice list today.


  2. I remember them all, John. I was never a huge fan of the Rolling Stones. There were a few of their frequently played songs I liked, but they were not my music choice. This is a great list, especially reminiscing about Urban Cowboy. I really liked that movie.


  3. I love a lot of these songs and they were fun to listen to and remember the times I was in when they came out. I love Weird Al and his parodies


  4. A bunch of good ones in here, John. One unknown (same as you) and my radio is in danger if “Sailing” ever starts playing. If rather roll down the window and listen to the sound of crunching gravel.


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